Print Your Own Invisibility Cloak

Duke University researchers are using 3D printers to produce working microwave cloaking materials. They suggest it’s not a difficult step to move toward printing with polymers or glass that might cloak visible light.

Do-It-Yourself Invisibility with 3-D Printing – [duke.edu]

Seven years ago, Duke University engineers demonstrated the first working invisibility cloak in complex laboratory experiments. Now it appears creating a simple cloak has become a lot simpler.

“I would argue that essentially anyone who can spend a couple thousand dollars on a non-industry grade 3-D printer can literally make a plastic cloak overnight,” said Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering.

Three-dimensional printing, technically known as stereolithographic fabrication, has become increasingly popular, not only among industry, but for personal use. It involves a moving nozzle guided by a computer program laying down successive thin layers of a material — usually a polymer plastic — until a three-dimensional object is produced.

Urzhumov said that producing a cloak in this fashion is inexpensive and easy. He and his team made a small one at Duke which looks like a Frisbee™ disc made out of Swiss cheese. Algorithms determined the location, size and shape of the holes to deflect microwave beams. The fabrication process takes from three to seven hours.

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